Magellan RoadMate USA ($39.99) by Magellan has been updated to version 2.2 and includes some nifty features that will make your driving experience a breeze.
Since version 2.0, RoadMate has gotten a much cleaner interface that looks great and is very responsive. There was also the integration of the Yelp API and Google Local Search, which are great for searching for a place to go to around you. Users also got “lifetime maps” (map updates) for the life of their product (which is three years, according to Magellan).
During my testing of the app, I found RoadMate to be much faster and reliable than my old favorite, Navigon. The voice directions are much more clear, instructive, and precise. I also had no problems with getting a GPS signal during my testing, which I would often get with Navigon (thus putting it in an annoying simulation mode for a while, sometimes never even getting a signal, forcing me to cancel and input address again). Another great thing – not hearing “Caution!” every 10 seconds, as I would in Navigon.
With the latest update, RoadMate becomes even better. The most helpful change would be the included Safety Alerts. This feature will alert you in real-time when there are red light and fixed speed cameras coming up. The feature works very nicely, as it informed me of the red light camera that is near my house well in advance.
In addition to these Safety Alerts, there are also “premium” alerts that will alert you to speed traps, school zones, DUI checkpoints, and more. These premium alerts are available via an in-app purchase.
Have you ever had a time when you missed the interchange on a freeway because you weren’t aware of which lane you need to be in? The new Junction View in RoadMate should help take care of that. This offers a realistic view of freeway interchanges and other highway signs, and will help guide you through those complicated interchanges (don’t deny it, we’ve all been there at some point or another).
So if you have your iPhone mounted on something like the Magellan Premium Car Kit, it will be easy to see where the interchange is in advance, giving you time to prepare. This will be to your benefit as well as those around you – don’t be a crazy, wild driver that needs to cut across four lanes at the last minute for that interchange (I see this all the time in California)!
Originally, RoadMate comes with one voice. Her name is Jill, and she’s an American voice. However, now Magellan is offering two other voices through in-app purchases of $0.99 each. There is Tom, a male American English voice, and Javier, a Mexican Spanish voice. So if you tire of lovely Jill, try Tom. If you would prefer Spanish, pick Javier. Just pick the voice that suits your fancy.
To go with the update (and every update), Magellan provides the latest map update for users to ensure that the app is alway up-to-date. An important thing to note is what Magellan means by “lifetime”: it’s defined as the lifetime of the product or when they no longer receive relevant map data. So please be aware that “lifetime” does not mean your lifetime, which seems to be a common misunderstanding.
Along with the latest updates is the ability to customize the app to suit your needs. Users can customize the main menu to how they want it, save frequent destinations as OneTouch favorites, navigation stats, dashboard settings, and even map color schemes.
Overall, I found Magellan RoadMate to be very effective, especially with the 2.2 update. I have long stood by Navigon as my favorite turn-by-turn navigation app, but I think Magellan has now taken that spot. The interface is great, the app is very quick and responsive, you’ll get safety alerts, be able to search for points-of-interests via Yelp or Google, and more. With RoadMate, you won’t be frustrated on the road again.